At the tail end of her 2019 event planning, we caught up with Kim Scott from Illinois Marathon to learn more about her role with this major event.
Illinois Marathon is an event loved by locals and visitors alike. Thousands of runners, volunteers, and fans gather each year to support and celebrate the race. This year, the marathon took place April 25-27, 2019
The triumph of this event was largely in thanks to Illinois Marathon’s very own Volunteer Coordinator, Kim Scott. In the midst of event planning, she took a moment to chat with us about the event history, her role, and the joy of working with Illinois Marathon volunteers.
What are Illinois Marathon’s origins? How did it originally start?
Kicking off in 2008, the Illinois Marathon is now about 11 years old. The marathon was originally founded to encourage health and wellness in central Illinois. Since then, the event has attracted participants from all corners of the country, as well as internationally. In the last 10 years, Illinois Marathon has certainly made an impact, with over 175,000 registrations and over $1.3 million donated to Illinois charities.
How did Kim get involved as the Volunteer Coordinator?
Kim was initially involved with the marathon as a runner. After enjoying the event so much, she sought opportunities for further involvement – as a volunteer! She jumped right in with a committee position, in charge of Packet Pickups. Shortly after, a Volunteer Coordinator position opened up. “It was a bit unexpected, but I had been interested in doing more at the time – so it was a great opportunity,” Kim recalled.
Kim is now enjoying her 5th year as Illinois Marathon’s Volunteer Coordinator. “It gets better every year,” she said.
What does Kim enjoy most about working with Illinois Marathon volunteers?
In the thick of event planning and coordination, Kim had a lot of praise to share for marathon volunteers. “I love their enthusiasm,” she said. “They always offer more, they’re always willing to do extra.” Much like her own story, she noted that volunteers often return every year. She commented, “Volunteers really have fun with it, and they tend to stay.”
There are many roles that volunteers play throughout the event – hydration, medical team, and course volunteers. From crowd control to medal hanging, they have their bases covered. Even local high school students get involved, jumping to action the day after the race to clean the course from start to finish.
Illinois Marathon’s Guest Legend? Do tell!
Each year, Illinois Marathon adds another level of excitement to the race by inviting a Guest Legend. This year, they invited U.S. Olympian and World Champion, Craig Virgin. Through special talks, speeches, and even radio co-hosting, Craig kept the crowd engaged and inspired throughout the event.
To wrap up our chat, I asked Kim if there was anything in particular that she was looking forward to as the event approached.
She explained how much planning is involved behind the scenes of every race. With that in mind, go-time is her favorite time: “When we get to the Expo, it means we’ve done everything we can do, and it’s time to shine”.
Although this year’s race is now behind us, be sure to set a calendar reminder to register for next year’s event, either as a runner or a volunteer! For more information, visit their website at https://illinoismarathon.com/ .